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Energy & Climate Change

  • 5 Wacky Alternative Energy Sources To Produce Clean Energy

    alternative-energyPeople who are concerned about the environment would agree that fossil fuels are not here to stay. They are the major cause of pollution, climate change and even war. When it comes to clean energy sources it doesn’t stop with solar and wind energy. There are a lot of other ways to harvest energy. We have listed below some of the most bizarre alternative energy sources available. You could be very well aware of some of the clean energy sources like, geothermal, wave power, or hydroelectricity. But, these are not the kind of methods you are going to see in the list below.

    Get ready to find out the weirdest and in some cases the most bizarre ways to produce energy.

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  • A Good Year For Alternative Energy


    Wind Farm courtesy of Wikipedia.com Wind Farm courtesy of Wikipedia.com        

               The past year went by way too fast. As I write this, on the eve of a new year, I am struck by how momentous this past year was. Horrible shootings occurred around the country, Russia became the first to drill for oil in the high Arctic, and Miley Cyrus proved to the world that she was going to reinvent herself. In spite of all this terrible news, I think the readers of this blog have plenty of cause for celebration as they look back on the past year.

                Devastating climate change is like a desert mirage that is not vanishing as we get closer. Recently, we have learned that our best bet to fight this catastrophe is to shy away from fossil fuels in favor of alternative energy sources. Herein lay our justification for celebration. Wind, solar, and even wave-generated energy have had new advances in this past year that leaves me optimistic for 2014.

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  • Ideas To Conserve Energy This Halloween

    Conserving energy this Halloween

    Halloween is a fun time of the year for kids and adults. It is easy to get caught up in the festivities and use a lot of energy, but there are steps you can take to conserve energy and still have a blast!

    Decorating is fun, it is a great way to express your creativity and to add a little spunk to your home. Instead of going all out with lights, consider putting candles to use. They will add an eerie glow to your displays without using a lot of
  • West Virginia's Toxic Water Problem: What would you do without a good water source?

    deepwater horizon, oil, planktonWhile 300,000 people are doubtful about having clean water tonight in West Virginia, the rest of us can only imagine what it would be like to not bathe, drink, brush our teeth, clean our dishes, clothes or even give our animals the life-giving liquid we all know as water. What happened to the Elk River is reminiscent of the BP Oil Spill, also known as the United State's Greatest Environmental Tragedy.  Both instances brought clean water, something the majority of U.S. citizens take for granted, to the fore front of our nation's conscience

    Clean water in our nation is mandatory for the population majority. Without clean, running water our homes and businesses can be declared uninhabitable by the states we live in...but it wasn't always this way. Whom do we have to thank for being able to trust the H2O that streams out of our taps?

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  • Walking Dead is based on the Environmental Movement

    zombie recycling

    Last night I watched the “Mid-Season Finale” of Walking Dead and realized that this Comic Strip turned Television Epoch is actually based on the Environmental Movement.  I know what you’re thinking, but bear with me, let’s examine the most recent episode. My point really becomes very clear during the Governor’s challenge to Rick’s group at the prison gates.


    Here’s the scene for those of you who missed it: The Governor, standing on a tank surrounded by a heavily armed cadre has two of Rick’s friends as bound hostages kneeling before him. His goal is to take over the prison haven, currently held by Rick’s group. He issues this ultimatum: “Leave before Sundown or I will kill you all,” he decrees from his position of power.


    Rick, standing apart from his group, looking small and desperate, responds with an alternative to the deadly proposal: “No, wait, it doesn’t have to be this way! Really, we can all live together, if not harmoniously at first, then after time. He extolls the list of enticements: we have plenty of land, we can grow food, we have walls, we will be safe, we CAN DO IT,” his voice rising and falling like that of a practiced preacher.


    During his impassioned plea, the camera watches the face of the only non-zombie Senior Citizen on the show. Hershel’s eyes become calm and his face peaceful as he seemingly envisions Rick’s promise of a harmonious and healthy future.


    Camera pans to the small Rick, standing like David before Goliath and there’s the slightest breath of hope…and then the Governor chops Hershel’s head off.

    So here’s the parallel:

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  • Where the Old Trees Grow

    old growthHave you ever had a time in your life where everything, if only for a few minutes, seemed perfect? For me, that time was the late afternoon of June 21, 2011 and the place was the Tarkine Forest of northwest Tasmania. As I review my journal from that day, everything comes back to me. I remember standing next to a girl I felt very connected with at my side, breathing in the rich smell of moss and damp earth. All I could hear were a few songbirds and a light breeze rustling through wispy tree ferns. And then, of course, there were those trees.

    Enormous swamp gum trees, some with diameters over fifteen feet, loomed overhead and their lofty heights left me awe-struck. I have never felt more moved by the beauty of nature in my life. My companion, Alex, and I still talk about that time in the Tarkine as if it were a dream. Perhaps that is why it is so hard for me to accept that the Tarkine is mostly unprotected from logging. More of the Tarkine, as with so many other irreplaceable old-growth forests around the world, is being cut down every day. That fact is very hard for me to accept and I will tell you why.

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  • Unique Ways To Promote Recycling

    reuseRecycling for the environment is a hot topic of conversation, and there are many creative ways to recycle.  In addition to putting containers in your recycling bin, there are others eco-friendly alternatives.  Purchasing from companies that reuse materials or offer free products for recycling containers are a few of these ways.

    Many companies have programs in place to help recycle items that would normally end up in the landfill.  For instance, Nike has a shoe-recycling program to reuse old sneakers.  The rubber from the soles of the discarded sneakers is transformed into playground turf.  Nike has other plans in place as well, in the hopes of using more sustainable materials for their operations. Several of our Artisans on Silent Springs use recycled materials to produce their products.  Learn more about some of these Artisans making a difference & gain tips for how you too can make a difference by creatively recycling.

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  • How Can An Office Control Energy Wastage?

    green officeWhen it comes to controlling loss of energy and funds, there are several things an office location can do to help. It is important that you take a few steps to help reduce your energy drain because it will save you money and the environment around you. These simple steps can help your office stay on target with your power bills and saving energy at the same time. Check out these great ideas and put them into practice in your office today.

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  • Is Recycling Worth It?

    plastic water bottles

    Recycling should not be this hard. At least, that is what I was telling myself as the seventh stale beer poured down my shirt. The smell was nauseating, the temperature had to be over one hundred degrees, and I was close to calling off my efforts to recycle. I thought back over the previous thirty minutes. Recycling the products of one college week required me to take a shopping cart from a grocery store, push it up an inclined street to my house, fill it with recyclables, take it back down, and insert cans into a machine in order to get a measly five cents per item. When I eventually walked home, smelling like I had just crawled out of a brewery tank, I decided that I would research how effective recycling actually was and whether it was even worth it. My findings were surprising and, in some ways, startling.

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  • Subsidies, Handouts, and Bribes

    Corporate subsidies have always confused me.  I know what you're thinking...this isn't rocket science.  But what about  appropriate semantics?  I mean when is it a subsidy, when is it a handout, or when is it just an old fashioned bribe.  Do I just not have the political tact for such distinctions or are others a bit confused as well?  It isn't that I have some innate fear of corporations or as one author fears that "corporations are gonna get my mama", but markets are hard enough to understand without the added complexities of such market levers.  Add to the complexity, the need to distinguish between a well intended capital infusion for the sake of development and a bribe to be followed up with a wink and a generous campaign donation and you've got one wicked problem.  Fortunately, I am not alone in my ignorance and willing readers everywhere have demanded some explanation.  I'm not sure Bill McKibben answered my questions entirely in his recent article, "Subsidies 101:  A guide to corporate handouts, and why we shouldn't stand for them" but it sure has kept me chuckling.

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